God’s gentle chastisement; or, His tender mercy to his people.
The Lord, how wondrous are his ways!
How firm his truth! how large his grace!
He takes his mercy for his throne,
And thence he makes his glories known.
Not half so high his power hath spread
The starry heav’ns above our head,
As his rich love exceeds our praise,
Exceeds the highest hopes we raise.
Not half so far hath nature placed
The rising morning from the west,
As his forgiving grace removes
The daily guilt of those he loves.
How slowly doth his wrath arise!
On swifter wings salvation flies;
And if he lets his anger burn,
How soon his frowns to pity turn
Amidst his wrath compassion shines;
His strokes are lighter than our sins
And while his rod corrects his saints,
His ear indulges their complaints.
So fathers their young sons chastise
With gentle hand and melting eyes;
The children weep beneath the smart,
And move the pity of their heart.
The mighty God, the wise and just,
Knows that our frame is feeble dust;
And will no heavy loads impose
Beyond the strength that he bestows.
He knows how soon our nature dies,
Blasted by every wind that flies;
Like grass we spring, and die as soon,
Or morning flowers that fade at noon.
But his eternal love is sure
To all the saints, and shall endure;
From age to age his truth shall reign,
Nor children’s children hope in vain.